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Make a Difference Have you 'made a difference' while travelling, by fundraising or donating time and energy to a worthwhile cause? Are you a non-profit organisation or individual who knows of an opportunity for travellers to help out in a less developed country? Tell us about it and provide contact details.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA

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Old 18 Mar 2018
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 7
Volunteer in KwaZuluNatal

We have been involved with a charity called Goodwill and Growth for Africa (GAGA) since 2008.
We had been happy travellers up to that point with the kids, but it became all a bit "generic" and we wanted to do something different and give our girls a more balanced view of the world.
So we got involved with GAGA and once you open that door there is no closing it. Africa gets under your skin, and we have now built up a network of friends that otherwise we would never have gotten to know.
So this is where you come in! - contact GAGA in the UK and speak with Sarah about what they do and what you can do for them. The charity works in partnership with small local NGO's primarily in KZN about an hour west of Durban in valley of a 1000 hills. GAGA either supports these NGO's wholly or as a partner with a other overseas charities.
There are schools, orphanages, medical outreach and care homes under GAGA's management. They have 1 vehicle incountry, 1 person F/T (Sarah) in the UK and one P/T (Debbie) in KZN.
In terms of staying in the area, there are plenty fantastic places to stay according to your budget. You will need your own transport generally, but I do have local contacts who I trust and will take you safely from A-B. The staff and volunteers you will meet out there are incredible and there are more than a few who are a real inspiration.
Perhaps a word of caution (as has been said elsewhere), it pays to do your research, particularly when it comes to charity work.
Unfortunately now having done this for about 10 years, I know of plenty horror stories where overseas "charity personnel" effectively have a jolly at donors expense so it pays to ask questions and check out their history of work completed (and maintained). An agency called Hilcrest AID's centre near Durban will no longer take large overseas donations unless they are backed up by long term support. So local charities are getting switched onto the fact that it's not fine having a great building and then finding out there is no more money forthcoming to pay for electricity and water etc.
While GAGA does some amazing work in the area, so do many others, and once you are satisfied your charity of choice is on the "up and up" you will have an amazing time. So work with us, don't work with us, it doesn't matter, but do your research and satisfy yourself it's all good and the people of KZN will do the rest.
GAGA UK - Goodwill and Growth for Africa
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